Spain Sees Record Coronavirus Death Toll with Some 850 Deaths in a Day
The growth rate of fatalities had been slowing down slightly over the past few days.
Spain registered a total of 849 COVID-19 fatalities in the last 24-hour period, the Spanish authorities announced on Tuesday.
With the new fatalities, the total coronavirus death toll has reached 8,189 in Spain, the second hardest-hit country in the world after Italy.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in cases rose to 94,417, after another 9,222 people tested positive, an increase of almost 11%.
The higher number of deaths announced on Tuesday comes after slight decreases in the fatality rate over the previous week, dashing hopes of a more pronounced downwards spiral.
“It’s true that today we have a slight increase in the number of cases,” said Maria Jose Sierra, from the health ministry’s emergencies coordination unit, as cited by AFP and France24.
“[However, the downward trend” is continuing,” she declared, noting at the same time last week, the rate of new infections stood at around 20%.
Spain’s capital Madrid is the worst-hit area in the country, with a death toll counting 3,609 deaths and a total of 27,509 confirmed infections.
Already on the 18th day of the four-week national lockdown to tackle the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Spanish authorities are seeking to increase substantially the number of people tested throughout the country.
Spain is thus importing test kits from around the world as the plan is to test some 50,000 people per day, up from 20,000 at present. Vast amounts of medical supplies have also been ordered from abroad.
The massive influx of coronavirus patients in serious condition and the growing number of infected medical staff has severely strained the Spanish health system.
The regional authorities in Madrid are already using a large exhibition center and a number of hotels to accommodate the sick, and have set up two temporary morgues for the dead, one of which is inside an Olympic-sized ice skating rink.
(Banner image: Video grab from France24)